June 4, 2009
Several UC Santa Barbara baseball players will be playing throughout the summer in various leagues around the country, including some who will continue to call Caesar Uyesaka Stadium home as they play for the Santa Barbara Foresters.
Assistant coach Tom Myers will follow up his successful stint managing in Alaska last summer will be on the other side of the continent as he takes the reigns of the Brewster Whitecaps of the Cape Cod League this season. Fans can follow Myers' Whitecaps through the Cape Cod League's page at capecodbaseball.com.
Joining him in the Cape Cod League will be left-hander Mario Hollands, who will pitch for the Cotuit Kettlers after a solid sophomore season. Hollands became the first Gaucho to toss a one-hitter since 1986 when he did so vs. LMU and then led the Gauchos to a win over No. 1 UC Irvine, only the Anteaters' second conference loss. Follow Hollands all summer by clicking here.
Five Gauchos will be playing in the Alaskan League, including catcher Marty Mullins and infielder Ryan Cavan. Mullins, who batted .295 last year and threw out 37 percent of would-be base stealers, will play for the Peninsula Oilers along with junior college transfer Nick Loredo, a right-handed pitcher from San Jose City College. Check in on Mullins and Loredo through the Oilers' website at oilersbaseball.com.
Cavan, who led the Gauchos with a .435 on-base percentage and was second on the team with a .341 batting average, will join pitchers Greg Davis and Jesse Meaux on the Fairbanks Goldpanners in the Alaskan League. Both Davis and Meaux were midweek starters for the Gauchos this year and could hone their skills with the Goldpanners to see significant time during the weekends next season. By going to goldpanners.com fans can follow these three Gauchos.
Playing in the friendly confines of Caesar Uyesaka will be junior infielder Matt Valaika and lefty Chris Joyce, as they will play for the Foresters. Valaika led the Gauchos with his .343 batting average and .545 slugging percentage this past year while Joyce has yet to pitch for the blue and gold, but showed promise when he came from nearby Dos Pueblos High. Follow the duo at sbforesters.org.
Joining Valaika and Joyce in the California Collegiate League will be outfielder Lance Roenicke and junior college transfer Kevin Gelinas, who both are scheduled to play for the Conejo Oaks. Roenicke missed all but four games this year due to injury, but is projected as UCSB's center fielder of the future, while left-handed pitcher Gelinas was rated as the No. 4 prospect nationally by Perfect Game's Top 50 junior college prospects and one of the top junior college players in the country by Baseball America. Follow their progress through the Oaks' website by clicking here.
Seven Gauchos will stay in contact in the Jayhawk League, as UCSB has three different players on two separate teams.
Outfielder Mark Haddow, redshirt catcher Dan Camou and junior college transfer Derek Eligio will all play for the Derby Twins. Haddow hit over .300 in Big West games this year and had an overall slugging percentage of .524. Eligio, an outfielder, most recently played for Santa Ana CC and was part of the 2008 Orange Empire First Team and was a 2008 Southern California All-American. As a freshman, he hit .408 with 10 doubles, seven home runs and 38 RBI. Follow the trio through Derby's website at derbytwins.com.
Three more UCSB players - redshirt infielder Steve Moon and pitchers Matthew Brady and Mike Wyrick - will play for the Central Valley Wahoos. Brady appeared in five games for the Gauchos as a freshman, while Wyrick and Moon will make their Gaucho debuts next year. Keep up to date on the three through the Jayhawk League's web page at jayhawkbaseballleague.org.
And, catcher Bryce Tafelski, who was featured in the Presidio Sports video about "Sounds from the Dugout" (viewable on the Santa Barbara site's YouTube page by clicking here) will play for the Hannibal Cavemen. Tafelski saw action in 18 games last year and had a homer and 12 RBI as a freshman. Keep tabs on Tafelski by visiting hannibalcavemen.com.
Earlier this year UCSB Athletics unveiled the BE Great initiative. BE Great is dedicated to maximizing leadership ability, strong on-campus interaction, and general welfare for all 450 student-athletes and Intercollegiate Athletics staff at UC Santa Barbara. BE Great also focuses on personal and career development, diversity, and social awareness, along with ensuring academic success. UCSB has a 92% student-athlete graduation rate.